This is the Christmas card I will be giving to patrons as a thank you for the support they have given me. It was an experiment that kind of got out of hand, and I hope they don’t expect anything as detailed and complicated every year. It started out as a wreath that morphed into a stylized tree and then into a practice piece . . . and then . . . . I guess it’s true that if you give a mouse a cookie . . . .
When we bought our house, Lucy and I decided that we would only have edible plants. At that time our idea of edible plants were things like fruit trees, herbs, vegetables, and edible flowers. Now our idea of edible has been extended to include plants that are food for the soul. Irises are in this category. . . especially irises that bloom more than once a year. Thanksgiving is only two days away, and I give thanks that there are still irises blooming around our house.
It’s November and we have already had several nights of frost and still my irises insist on blooming. Fortunately no one has ever told them the facts of life. No one has told them they are only suppose to bloom in the spring or that they can’t bloom if I never separate their clumps so that there are fifty to a hundred irises growing in each square foot of space. Nor have they ever been told the deer and the gophers will decimate them. They don’t mope or whine about never being fertilized or sprayed for protection against insects or diseases. All they do is bloom where they are planted and make the world a better, more beautiful place.
8″X8″ oil on canvas–$150
Zebrinas are a cultivar of Malva sylvestris. Last year I started a handfull of plants from seed, and this year I had dozens of plants scattered throughout my accidental forest. It has made itself a place beside the coreopsis, nasturtiums, four-o’clocks, irises, day lilies, California poppies, and alyssum. Like them, it multiplies and grows exuberantly without any help from me.